The Endangered Photo Album


Can we speak honestly here?   Are we close enough where I can show my true colors and not be judged for showing them?  Or is it too early in our relationship?

Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and throw it out there, figuring that you might share my sentiments…

I loathe digital cameras.  There, I said it.  Phew…that was therapeutic!  I already feel better.  Hate them, hate them, don’t like them, wish they’d go away, still don’t like them, begone!

Why, might you ask?  Because they are encouraging the early death of the printed photo and the ‘old school’ photo album.

Oh sure…you can have a ‘virtual album’ where you share your photos with loved ones online, or a ‘digital picture frame’ which you put on your desk at the office, that scrolls through a set amount of photos that you program into it.

But what happens when your child reaches the age when she needs to bring photos of herself in to school for a family tree project? Or when your sister-in-law comes over once a year and wants to look at pictures of the snowfall or your attempts at surfing or your garden last year?  Do you run to the computer and scroll through thousands of pictures trying to find them?  Then do you put them on a thumb drive to run to the nearest, where?, Walgreens?, to develop them?  Do they even develop photos anymore?  Does anyone with a brick and mortar store develop pix?  Or do you have to send away to have it done?

And what about the possibility of your computer crashing and you losing all of those precious memories?  It happened to my parents.  They went on vacation to visit all of my aunts, uncles and cousins in France, and took a bunch of pictures & videos.  They downloaded them when they got home, their computer crashed and they lost it.  Granted my parents are not technically savvy, but still, I think this could easily happen to the majority of us out there.

And did you know that looking at your “photo album” online is considered screen time?  So now it’s not healthy for your children to go through their family photos?!

And then there’s the amount of photos taken with a digital camera.  Let’s not take one photo of my beach rose looking so chubby and adorable in her little tutu bathing suit, let’s take a million…one of her profile, one of her sitting in the sand, one of her digging in the sand, one of her sitting and digging…

I tried to have an entire year’s worth of photos developed recently and found that I had over 2500 pix!  Who in their right mind would ever sit down to look at a photo album with that many pictures in it? Nobody, that’s who.

The response I usually get when I bring this gripe up is that I should just go through and edit the 2500 pictures and then have them developed.  Well, easier said then done.  First of all, it takes forever.  Editing not only consists of deleting shots #2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 of a sweet chickadee at the birdfeeder, but also cropping photos, correcting red eye, removing blemishes, adjusting the brightness, focus, etc, etc.

Too many options.  I much prefer my old 35mm camera that had a roll of film with 24 exposures.  I had just 24 chances to capture the moment, the day of moments, or the week of moments. So, there were no superfluous shots taken of anything.  And when you got your developed pictures back, you were thrilled with all of them, regardless of the inevitable red eye, if it was blurry or if it wasn’t the most flattering pic of you.

Most importantly, your photos were tangible.  To have and to hold.  And you excitedly placed them in your photo album.  Which you still look at to this day.

And you had the negatives to hold onto for life…in case anything ever happened to the original photo.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with my rant against digital cameras, do everything you can to go through and edit your pictures, print them and put them in an album.  Someday, when the zombies attack and there are no more computers, this could be all that’s left to tell the stories of our lives…

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